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    Gaskell definitely renders Mr Higgins' accent and...

    Gaskell definitely renders Mr Higgins' accent and speech patterns better than Dickens' did Stephen Blackpool's. Dickens did Mr Bounderby well though. He reminds me of a certain Mr T. I thought Hard...
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    I've read Old Wives Tales. It was a remarkable...

    I've read Old Wives Tales. It was a remarkable book, very naturalistic. It follows two sisters who grow up in a draper's shop and then go their own ways. Personally, I did not enjoy it very much, but...
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    I am not sure I'd regard myself as an expert on...

    I am not sure I'd regard myself as an expert on Victorian novels, but everything's relative. It was Great Expectations that got me into reading Victorian novels. I thought Dickens was rather stodgy...
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    It sounds like it's about illicit, probably gay,...

    It sounds like it's about illicit, probably gay, sex. I have read that the first 120 sonnets were addressed to a fair youth and the other 20 odd to a dark lady. I would have to take that on trust....
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    Try another pseudo-randomly selected sonnet: 52....

    Try another pseudo-randomly selected sonnet: 52.
    What does any of this mean?


    So am I as the rich whose blessèd key
    Can bring him to his sweet up-lockèd treasure,
    The which he...
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    You're from Boston then. Did you go to see The...

    You're from Boston then. Did you go to see The Pixies and The Throwing Muses in your youth? If not, why not? I am thinking of reading Ullyses, but I think I'll keep it for next year's homework.
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    My favourite is Great Expectations. The most...

    My favourite is Great Expectations. The most moving book I've read as an adult. Dickens' best written book was probably Bleak House.
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    He wasn't the one I was thinking of. There was an...

    He wasn't the one I was thinking of. There was an old business mogul who looked like the elder of Benny Hill's dirty old man cronies. The small one with the bald head. This business mogul married a...
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    I have been trying to remember the name of that...

    I have been trying to remember the name of that old billionaire who married a young porn star. Well she looked like a porn star, but maybe she wasn't.
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    I am reading The Fountainhead. I think it's...

    I am reading The Fountainhead. I think it's pretty good. It has an original plot. It is about work. It's way better than Fahrenheit 451, which I read before it. I don't think it discusses Rand's...
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    Picked a sonnet at random (used my stopwatch),...

    Picked a sonnet at random (used my stopwatch), which was 138, which I have not studied before. So what does any of it mean, and is it any good?

    SONNET 138

    When my love swears that she is made...
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    Regarding the average Briton's understanding of...

    Regarding the average Briton's understanding of Shakespeare, I think I heard on the radio that people used to understand him better because they were used to reading the King James Bible. Not sure...
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    Disappointed with the translation or disappointed...

    Disappointed with the translation or disappointed with the original?
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    True, I have read 'bark' in Macbeth, only I think...

    True, I have read 'bark' in Macbeth, only I think I misunderstood its meaning as 'life'. Macbeth was the Shakespeare play I studied for my English O level exam. I got a C, which actually wasn't bad...
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    I expect I understood impediments and tempest...

    I expect I understood impediments and tempest when I was 14 or 15. I know I made a model kit of Hawker Tempest. I've never heard a boat referred to as a bark anywhere other than in this poem. The...
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    I did know a bark was a ship, but only because I...

    I did know a bark was a ship, but only because I remember it from English class 30 odd years ago. I used that sonnet because it was one of only two I actually understood properly. I am surprised...
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    I think it's more the language than the concepts...

    I think it's more the language than the concepts that are difficult for most modern people. For example, the Let Me No to the Marriage of True Minds sonnet I was taught in class at school:

    Let me...
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    Basically that they don't really understand it.

    Basically that they don't really understand it.
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    Shakespeare's sonnets

    I have been reading Shakespeare's sonnets. I have always had a problem with Shakespeare, like most people I expect, but I thought maybe I could get into him via his poems. I did like a couple of his...
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    I don't know about it being regarded as a great...

    I don't know about it being regarded as a great novel, and as I am not a critic or an academic in English literature, I cannot say how it is critically regarded. I think it is regarded as regarded as...
  21. I thought Viktor Sitnikov and Kukshina were...

    I thought Viktor Sitnikov and Kukshina were annoying poseurs. But then I thought Bazarov was somewhat. I thought Kukshina might have been introduced as a contrast to Odintsova. Odintsova was a...
  22. Thread: Hello

    by kev67
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    Their nihilism was a bit different to what I...

    Their nihilism was a bit different to what I understood by the term, but maybe I did not understand the term properly. I thought nihilism meant you cared about nothing, and that you were amoral. That...
  23. Finished it. It's taken about three months, but...

    Finished it. It's taken about three months, but it was good. I like the way Henry Fielding attacks his critics in the introductory chapters. Now that I've finished the book, I have started the...
  24. Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. Some...

    Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. Some people think it's a masterpiece. Other people, like myself, think it's a load of pretension toss.
  25. I am within the last 100 pages. Part 3 has picked...

    I am within the last 100 pages. Part 3 has picked up again, largely because all the great characters from part 1 have come back. My favourite characters:


    Squire Western - irascible,...
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